Defining my dharma…

It’s introspective post day.  I’m a bit behind on the Ultimate Blog Challenge (because I failed to take my own advice last weekend and pre-schedule my posts!).  So gotta catch up on that.  Not because anyone’s forcing me to — I really don’t think my co-host Michele would fly up here just to beat me with a wet noodle or anything, it’d be a long flight from Lousiana to Alaska just for that — but because I love these challenges and how much content I walk away with at the end.

If you’re a regular reader you may have noticed I’ve historically had a bit of blog ADD. When Lisbeth Tanz invited me to help mentor a group through 31 Days to Build a Better Blog I jumped at the opportunity partially because I love blog challenges and partially because I knew it would force me to buckle down and work through the book myself. (It rocks, if you don’t own it, check it out here.)

Yet two weeks into the challenge I was still stuck on Day 1. Yeah, I’ll admit it. My blog had no darn mission statement. Why does this seem like such a tough thing to tackle? It’s one of those things that thinking about makes me want to go clean out a closet or something to avoid it.

I did Days 2, 3, 5 and the next few weeks with no problem. But 1 (elevator pitch) and 4 (need to know my niche to analyze a blogger in my niche) had me flat-out stuck.

And I realized that the problem was bigger than my blog. I found it challenging because I hadn’t figured out exactly what I wanted to do.  What I was meant to do.  I was in that “What will my business be when it grows up?” phase – or perhaps more precisely, “What do I want to do when I grow up?” I should have figured that out by 29, right?  Yes, I’m 29 and for future reference next month I will be celebrating my 29th birthday again.  ;)

While I haven’t got it all figured out yet, I’m getting there.  I’m exploring the reasons that I’m stuck where I’m at.  I built a business that required me to overcome personality weaknesses – and that was not a smart move.  I should be leveraging my natural strengths instead of trying to shoehorn myself into a job description.  I had no idea what should go into creating a business around your strengths when I was 19 and figuring out how to work from home.  Just because I can do something, doesn’t mean it’s what I should be doing.  So I took a hiatus from a couple of projects/services I usually provide at a time that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to do it, but I’m not sure there’s ever a perfect time for change other than right now.  And jumped into another one in a totally different style than usual for me.  I’m learning.  And letting go of my own ideas of what I can’t do.  Realizing that my own mindset holds me back.  Finding what I’m meant to do is a big perspective shift but I know I’ve got to figure that out if I want a business that I love.

So why share this?  Because I’ve discovered most of the “head garbage” I’m dealing with isn’t just about me.  And one of the things I’m meant to do is to share my challenges and the solutions as I find them, to help others on the same path that I’m on (yes, Jeanine, I DO listen!)  If nothing else, know that you aren’t alone if your mind wanders in the same directions mine does, knowing that there’s a way to run a business that helps others without landing myself back in the ER again (been there, done that, got the wrist band).

Oh and if you’re wondering, dharma (small “d”) can mean a lot of things but in this context, it means your life purpose & truth – the path you should be walking – why you’re here on earth.   It’s both your duty and what sets you free.

Do you have a mission statement for your life, your business or your blog?  I’d love it if you’d share in the comments of who you help or what you love doing and share your blog or website link, too!

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michelle Shaeffer, EvelynRobertsBrooks. EvelynRobertsBrooks said: RT @SmallBizMuse: Blog: Defining my dharma… #blogboost […]

  2. You’ve taken a stroll over to my blog a gazillion times, Michelle, and if I haven’t said it lately – thank you!

    I’m extremely grateful to have landed on this post and, for what it’s worth, I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. And I’m 20+ years older than you! So I’d have to say that you most definitely have a leading edge. :)

    Here’s my dilemma in trying to zero in on my life purpose and the path I should be walking: I KNOW what I’m really good at – where I shine – and I KNOW I can do something to impact people’s lives in a positive way, BUT … I DON’T know how to transition my purpose over to sharing it in the online world.

    Whew! Sorry – that was a longer dissertation than I intended.

    This post rocks!
    Melanie Kissell recently posted… I Met The Fly LadyMy Profile

  3. I notice you are not using “Cinch” to add audio to your blog Michelle. Do you find it easy to use? And can you tell if visitors are taking advantage of this option?

    Candace Davies

    1. Hi Candace, yes I find it very easy to use. :) I try to get 2-3 blog posts a week on there, may eventually try to get them more consistently. When you’re logged into their website you can see how many times each audio has been listened to.

  4. What a timely article. Dharma must be knocking on many doors, I am simply glad I read this. It gives me a different road to take when it comes to mind fog.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  5. I love how open you are about where you are stuck. I am stuck with those same key points. It is nice to know that being a thought leader and inspiration (like you are) is not all about sharing one success after another but is also about sharing that you are human and get stuck just like everybody else. It is what you do to move through that stuck place that makes you an even bigger inspiration. I will give extra thought and care to a clear elevator speech and to creating a mission statement for my blog. The path is right in front of me.

    Thank you Michelle, for so much! Your blog is a real treat!!
    Helen Raptoplous recently posted… Overcome Distractions – Your Calendar Is A Great ResourceMy Profile

  6. so glad you shared this, Michelle. as you know from my “head” struggles in the last challenge and article marketing weekend, I’m right there with you. Maybe it’s a Scorpio thing …I have a birthday coming up next month as well! – the big 45. scary. It’s also a decade thing. I really want to start the decade with a more strategic business plan. I’ve taken so many social media workshops in the last 12 months. I’m getting tired of learning. I want to start the decade “practicing with a purpose.’ I just haven’t been able to nail it down…..but clarity is near. I feel it. Your and Lis’s workshop (and that darn elevator pitch exercise) were very instrumental. I’ll keep you posted and hope all the obstacles hiding your dharma are cleared – quickly! (at least before the big 30 ;)
    Denese Bottrell recently posted… Moments: Setting intentions amp striving to never being doneMy Profile

    1. Denese – 45? I would never have guessed! Happy upcoming birthday. :)
      Lisbeth Tanz recently posted… 5 Ways be a Better Web Content WriterMy Profile

  7. Michelle – I can relate to what you’re saying. I’ve been going through this the entire year and am just now feeling like I’m getting into a groove. I totally agree with you that just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Been there, done that. And confounded people when I stopped because I left a very lucrative position years ago (that was sucking the life out of me).

    Finding your dharma, true path, life purpose – whatever you call it, once you find it, you’ll know. Thanks for letting us go along for the ride.

    1. Hip, Hip, Hooray for Lis’s remark! There is a whole boatload of us who want to stop doing things that are sucking the life out of us! And I’m proud to know Lis – she finally said enough is enough. I admire her kind of courage.
      Melanie Kissell recently posted… Blogging for DollarsMy Profile

  8. (((Michelle)))

    I can so relate to what you are saying. I’m not sure what I want to be when I grow up, either.

    And I know my life purpose!

    But there are many, many ways to help people heal, to write, to lead a tribe, to teach spiritual principles…

    And I am interested in all of them :).


  9. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lisbeth Tanz, Jeanine Byers Hoag and Jeanine Byers Hoag, Ria Wallace. Ria Wallace said: What a great article RT @SmallBizMuse Defining my dharma… #blogboost […]

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